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Sound & Communications Interviews Mike Pouh

In February, Sound and posted an article that discussed government spending for AV technology. Mike Pouh, Alpha Video’s Government Account Executive, shares his expert knowledge about the S&L government market in the article. Below are the quotes from Mike. You can read the entire article at

“They do focus on getting their money’s worth out of a purchase,” laughed Mike Pouh, Account Executive for Government Sales at Alpha Video (, which has done extensive work for state and local governments. “Ironically, they have no problem replacing a computer every two years, but they’ll hang onto a projector for 10 years.”

That said, Pouh recalls that the spending slowdown in government AV came about slowly after the onset of the recession in 2008 because government budgets tend to be set and allocated further in advance than those in private sectors. And, he’s finding, the snap back is happening faster, possibly because of eight years’ worth of pent-up need and demand during a period when AV technology progressed rapidly. “It was a slow decline in spending during 2008 and 2009 before it got really bad, but last year we saw a noticeable jump,” he said. “Now, it’s like a perfect storm: A lot of technology is dying out and ready for replacement, and they are finally ready to move from analog to digital, from SD to HD.”

“Many government agencies are being forced to upgrade their AV technology simply because the materials they’re working with now can’t be used with the older display technologies that are still in place,” he said. “There is no 480p resolution [content] anymore, and the old CRT displays cannot take 1080p inputs. The changes in technology that have occurred in the last several years have forced them to make upgrades once the budgets became available.”

Pouh is also seeing that manifest itself in display systems for courtrooms, meeting rooms, council briefing rooms and other such spaces. “Before, they’d unroll a paper map that would be blown up by a document camera as part of presentations in meeting rooms and council chambers; now, they’re asking for video displays and interactive video displays for file-based content,” he said, reflecting in part the fact that more and more personal technology is migrating toward government environments.

It’s hard, he said, to go from the interactive screen on your phone to a static one at work. In addition, control systems such as Creston and AMX are also finding their way into government meeting rooms in recent projects. “Unified touchpanel controllers are becoming the norm for room control and system control, just as they have been in corporate environments,” he offered, adding that it’s almost jarring to see spaces that once had little more than light switches suddenly transformed by wall-mounted touchscreens. “Government spaces are starting to look a little more like other AV-equipped spaces.”